New supercookies stalk website visitors
|18 Aug 2011 5:09 BST||Back|
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MSN and Hulu are among websites who have been using ‘supercookies’ to track people’s online activities, according to the Wall Street Journal.
These cookies are extremely difficult to detect and erase and provide more information than standard ones. This is because they are capable of re-creating users’ profiles after the regular cookie has been deleted, the paper reports.
Researchers at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley discovered this new tracking tool and brought their findings to the attention of the companies who were using them.
One of the researchers said a New York digital marketing company was using ‘history stealing’ services on sites such as Flixster.com. This allowed the company to see if a site visitor had visited any of the 1,500 listed sites, including ones about bad credit and pregnancy.
The WSJ reported that “as consumers become savvier about protecting their online privacy online, the new techniques appear to be gaining ground”.
As the online privacy battle continues, the US Congress is debating a number of privacy bills this year.